Israel: All-women flash mob protests sexism in Beit Shemesh (VIDEO)

The World

The city of Beit Shemesh has witnessed some ugly scenes in recent weeks.

First, ultra-Orthodox men sought to impose greater segregation between men and women in public, including men-only sidewalks and separate seating on buses. Then, when the national media descended, crowds reportedly hurled stones and abuse at television crews and police.

Thousands of Israelis responded with a mass rally, where ultra-Orthodox, liberal and secular expressed their anger at the rising current of extremism.

But the latest protest against sexism had an altogether funkier feel. Last weekend, Haaretz reported, some 250 women made their way to the city center to make their point via the medium of dance.

The short routine, performed to Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now,' had been organized two weeks earlier by Miri Shalem of the Ramat Beit Shemesh community center. Participants were drummed up via Facebook, and a choreographer and camera crew enlisted to help produce.

"We wanted to present a different voice of many sane women who are against religious exclusion in the city, like living in Beit Shemesh and don't experience religious tensions every single moment," Shalem told Ynet News.

Not everyone bought into the feelgood moment, however. On the +972 blog, Roee Ruttenberg complained that if the women really wanted to challenge segregation, they ought to have invited men to take part.

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